The UK-based costume designers of the HBO/BBC series ‘His Dark Materials’ are showing what they are made of, as they have launched the Helping Dress Medics initiative and are putting their garment-making skills to work, sewing scrubs for medical professionals in England who are struggling to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The initiative was the brainchild of ‘His Dark Materials” costume supervisor, Dulcie Scott, with backing by ‘Downton Abbey’s Caroline McCall. (Scott also worked on ‘Downton Abbey’.) Via GoFundMe, HDM has raised– as of this writing– £9,560 (∼$11,866 US) to provide clothing for the medical first responders on the “frontline.” In addition to the ‘His Dark Materials’ crew, Scott has enlisted others in the costume field of entertainment. They were expecting a shipment of fabric on Monday and hoped to have the first shipment of garments to those who need them by Friday. All participants are volunteers and the money raised goes directly to buying fabric.
Via the GoFundMe page, Scott explained:
“We are liaising with hospital staff directly in the areas we live and taking advice from them about what they need, so that we can specifically help them. The nature of how the virus is spread means that the demand for scrubs is especially high.”
On Monday, she added:
“I’m so delighted to report that this has gone way beyond any of our expectations – both in donations and also in offers of help. Many more costume makers have joined us and we have been able to order lots more fabric / make many more scrubs / reach other parts of the country.”
‘His Dark Materials’ is based on the sci-fi/fantasy novels by Philip Pullman and was developed as a TV series by Brad Wolf and writer Jack Thorne. It launched in November of last year and ran through December. The first season consisted of eight episodes, and was based largely on the book ‘Northern Lights’. ‘His Dark Materials’ was preemptively renewed for a second batch of another eight, which will be based on ‘The Subtle Knife’. It is also expected that the show will get a third season renewal in order to adapt ‘The Amber Spyglass’.
The large cast consists of Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Anne-Marie Duff, Clarke Peters, James Cosmo, Ariyon Bakare, Will Keen, Lucian Msamati, Gary Lewis, Lewin Lloyd, Daniel Frogson, James McAvoy, Georgina Campbell, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ruta Gedmintas, Lia Williams, Amir Wilson, and Nina Sosanya.
In this parallel reality, humans are accompanied by dæmons, animals that represent their souls. These talking creatures are voiced by Helen McCrory, Kit Connor, Eloise Little, Phoebe Scholfield, Libby Rodliffe, Cristela Alonzo, David Suchet, and Peter Serafinowicz.
Check back for news on S2 of ‘His Dark Materials’ whenever production begins again.
If you would like to donate to Helping Dress Medics, visit the initiative’s GoFundMe page.